Jorge Valdano Opens Up

Jorge Valdano Opens Up
By Donny Mahoney Updated

Jorge Valdano, El Filósofo, is profiled in the Financial Times today by Simon Kuper. There's loads of great material and riduculous- digs at Barcelona, especially at Pep who he calls a caricature, soft endorsements of Mourinho, etc. We've bracketed off some of his best quotes below.

On "the desire for spectacle":

“The leader of Barcelona is the style of play. Heading Barça now is a person who takes the respect for this culture to the point of exaggeration: Pep Guardiola [the current coach]. In Madrid it was always different. At Real there is an enormous passion for triumph. Here, there’s an admiration for the player who gives everything. That’s why a player like Angel di Maria has had such rapid success [at Real]. And there’s also a desire for spectacle. In Barcelona that order is reversed: first the play, then the result.”

On The Special One:

"As a player I liked to have more liberty than obligations. Today they apparently prefer more obligations than liberty. ...Almost nobody who has worked under his discipline speaks badly of Mourinho."

On Real's predestination:

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“When Barcelona awakens from its dream, el Madrid will be there, to occupy the place it’s always had in football’s history.”

On Ronaldo:

"Before he came to Spain, photographers lined up in the discotheques, but they are still there waiting for him. Ronaldo is an obsessive of training, of the gym, of self-improvement. I’ve never seen a player in such good physical condition. He’s a gladiator.”

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